iSkin evo2 Reviewed

Got my iSkin for my iPod today. Boy is this a cool product. Some quick observations:

Things that rock

  • Very nice tight fit. Not loose at all. Fits like a perfect glove.
  • Belt clip is extremely strange (in the way it’s attached to the case). Very clever, but unusual.
  • Screen cover is really clear. I don’t even notice it’s there.
  • The White color still keeps that iPod look, but gives some protection.
  • With the belt clip removed, you can see the Apple logo in a clear part of the case on the back, in a big circle. Pretty cool looking.

Things that can be improved

  • Belt clip is a bit weak, but I never intended to use it. Hence I liked the fact it came off. Would be better if it were metal, and spring loaded. Not to mention rotated smoother.
  • screen cover lifts the small part between the screen and the clickwheel. Not bad, just could be a bit tighter.
  • iSkin around the clickwheel should have been beveled. Same for where it meets the standby switch, and headphone jack.

It’s not perfect for those who use an iPod dock (though you can pull the iPod partially out through the clickwheel hole, and sync that way). I’d recommend a cable for ease.

Overall it’s a well made product. It’s a very simple design that compliments the iPod very well. It’s sleek, comfortable, and protective. It does provide a little padding for your iPod, not to mention a screen cover. It’s also made of water resistant material (though don’t test that out).

Products Mentioned
iSkin eVo2 4G iPod 20GB – Arctic
iSkin eVo2 4G iPod 40GB – Arctic

[Crossposted from MacVillage.net]

Static Building

I’ve started building static pages with WordPress, to see if I can speed things up (even more). I started experimenting with it a week or so ago, and have been toying around. At this point I think it’s pretty good, minus a few small glitches (all I can live with for the moment).

One apparently is that in WordPress 1.3, it doesn’t correctly show how long it took to process. For example I see:

Dynamic Page Served (once) in 0.182 seconds
Static Page Served in 1,105,325,889.680 seconds

No, it didn’t take that long. It actually loaded quicker than the dynamic page.

But yes, I’m feeling even better about WordPress, it’s a solid platform to run a Blog on. Easy to setup, configure, install, tweak, skin. I love 1.5, but I won’t be moving over until it hits final.

I’ve been somewhat quiet these past few days, since I’ve been spending a ton of time coding away on various projects. It’s starting to get close to some of it being put into production. Though some larger projects are far from completion. Other than that, not much else to say.

News Headline System Approaching Beta Tests

I wrote a brand new news headline for MacVillage.net. It’s also RSS based, like the current incarnation, but much more efficient. It will also support more feeds. Thanks to using PHP’s XML capabilities, it processes a feed in half the time of the last version. And because it now cashe’s, and uses a better timing mechanism, it doesn’t reload news sources more than necessary. That means less CPU consumption!

So expect to see more content on the slowly rebuilding MacVillage.net soon. Perhaps by the end of the week I’ll plug the new system into production.

Some fudging, but it’s valid

I’m not done yet, I still need to make some tweaks to the layout, and lots of backend work for the page:

http://home.macvillage.net/

Is HTML 4.01 Transitional Valid. That’s right. HTML 4. Decided XHTML is to much of a jump for now. Perhaps when I redo the templates in a few months I’ll convert, but for now, it’s HTML 4.

Yea for standards. No more crummy HTML. We do valid code now.

Breaks a little still under NN4. I’ll try to fix that later.

Stylesheet fun

Here’s valid XHTML Transitional of a MacVillage.net webpage.

Several individuals a while back commented on my last design as being “old”, “stale”, etc. So if anyone wants to design a stylesheet, or just wants to see where I am right now, that’s it. Yes I know the logo is a dead image, but the logo depends on the design itself a bit.

If anyone’s stylesheet is actually chosen as a primary (or alternate) design, you’ll of course get a mention here, and on the MacVillage.net website during the initial relaunch. Need printable, PDA, etc.

All submissions become my irrevocable transferable property, you get credit in the stylesheet’s source (don’t go crazy, size is important)… So if your an aspiring designer, feel free to hack away.

Or if you just have a few comments on a “feel” or usability issue, I of course welcome that as well. I’m serious, I read them, and take them into consideration. People gave lots of good feedback on previous projects I’ve done, so once again I do it. It’s proven to be quite effective in getting better quality.

So. Feel free to leave a comment (or drop an email, as I know so many seem afraid of leaving public comments here).

Thanks to all.

MacVillage.net Hardcore

I’m starting to get hardcore into MacVillage.net Development, starting what will be the final development push.

Today I implemented MD5 encryption across all logins the system performs. It’s deployed and in production at the time. Also did a few other weeks to the authentication system while I’m in there.

I’m strongly considering going with XHTML for a design scheme for the following reasons:

  • Main target is Mac OS X (duh), and majority of browsers are compliant (Safari, Mozilla, IE 5).
  • Enhance support for wireless devices
  • Bandwidth savings

Anyone want to comment on that decision (still pending), drop me a line, or leave me a comment here.

Also on the agenda this week is some cleanup. I’ve got scripts that have been working since 2000 without me touching them. Some I even forgot they existed 🙂 Great that they work so well, but I keep stumbling upon them. Needless to say, each one poses a delay, as I have to figure them out again, decide if they stay or go, and deal with them appropriately. Hopefully not to many left.

Some technical issues

In my ongoing efforts:

Few more templating tweaks. Before the bulk can be done, a few technical issues need to be worked out. Hope to have those resolved in the next 24-48 hours.

After that, I’ve got several smaller scripts to write/debug/test.

Some Authentication system upgrades. Then some new toys 😀

And, I’ll have a little Open source toy for everyone in perhaps a week or so 🙂 If you run a website, and have digital media, you may be interested… more later.

Were transitionally compliant, and transitioning

Today I hit a milestone for MacVillage.net. During the transition to the new systems, I will be keeping the old layout. But since it’s going into a new Content Management System, it will need to be updated a bit. As a result, I made it valid HTML 4.01 Transitional.

So far most of the test pages in the staging area, are completely HTML 4 Transitional VALID. I hear so often it’s “impossible” to make larger sites with content management systems valid… well I’m well under way.

Valid HTML is better for everyone, and I’m glad that the site will be valid.

At the current time, I’ve decided to officially freeze the current site. Only automated systems, and other key news systems will be updating as usual. But I’m done developing under the old system. I’m downloading an image of the current system, which I will use for porting the initial relaunch with.

It’s still a little while away, but this is a major shift from R&D to “staging”. After extensive work in this level, we will move to production.

All systems GO!

The last Macworld for the OLD MacVillage.net

I anticipate this to truly be the last MacWorld for the old MacVillage.net. The new system is nearly complete, and most likely reliable enough for this, but I didn’t feel comfortable enough with it to speed up the process and roll out last night. I made the decision about Dec 26. So I will keep the News site idle, and just handle Mac PR as usual.

So far the QuickTime stream is pretty very crappy. Things better shape up!

More later.

Programming Butt Kicking

Sunday and Monday were great programming days. Got tons of bugs fixed on the MacVillage.net CMS. Started Indexing, that’s now done (partly). Also got some limited search functionality. And tons and tons of stupid bugs, and odd functionality fixed. More than I noted in my change log. A lot more. It was good time. Some code cleanup, removed some bogus code, and consolidated a few things…. all was good in happy town.

Then this Computer Science & Programming Lab came around. And I feel like I took a shower in a Turkish prison, and dropped the soap.

It hurts. I’m tired, and I want sleep. And I want a decent grade. And this internal conflict might be the war to end all wars.

Spam Filtering is starting now on my server, so my email should be cleaning on my server, rather than client side, meaning my CPU should be free a bit more. A great thing.